Apr 2014 14

The 25 Most Inspiring Custom Designed Logos

Promote-Signs-Beautiful-LogosFamous playwright George Bernard Shaw once said “Life is not about finding yourself; Life is about creating yourself.” The same can be said for your business! Unfortunately, creating the brand we want to associate with our business can be one of the hardest tasks of starting up.

Some businesses go many years without having a clear brand identity. If you can establish a brand right away, you have gotten one of the most important parts of your business going. A good brand can eventually market your business for you.

Perhaps the biggest way your brand is communicated to the public is through your logo. A logo is the symbol that people associate with your business. You may find that creating a good logo is difficult, and a great one might be impossible.

It can be helpful, then, to see what the professional agencies have come up with for logos and find inspiration in what has worked for other blossoming brands. With the help of this list, perhaps you may get ideas that help you develop your logo and brand identity, so grab your notebook here we go:

Leologos-Iphone-Doc25. Leologos – Iphone Doc

When designing a logo, using a trigger (an image with which people are already familiar and likely to encounter) is a great way to enhance recall later on. Design firm, LeoLogos designed this trigger-laden logo that combines flat images of Apple’s iconic iPhone and a medical stethoscope to communicate his client’s specialty and increase the likelihood that one of those images would remind prospective customers of his client’s brand. 

Jan-Zabransky-The-Third-Image24. Jan Zabransky – The Third Image

Giving the viewer some mental exercise with double images can also be a great tool for retention. Czech-based logo designer, Jan Zabransky created this double image for a professional wedding photography company noted for their creative compositions. The organic design does well to keep the client’s brand as the focused image with the heart being subordinate to the number 3.

Glazer-Bluewater23. Glazer – Bluewater

While the industry may be gushing over simplistic shapes and bright colors, great logo design is 100% about clear communication. Notable UK branding agency, Glazer, used the image of a horse emerging from water in their work for upper-end UK shopping destination Bluewater. The resulting image maintains a high level of class but also kicks with energy as well.

Andrew-Kelsall-harrowgate-hill22. Andrew Kelsall – harrowgate hill church

When it comes to designing a great logo, churches can be one of the most difficult organizations for which to create. Often deferred to clichés or overlooked entirely, there is very little precedent for inspiring design. UK designer, Andrew Kelsall has done a job to combat that, creating an attractive piece that is unique and appealing without being complicated or over-designed.

Wilimington-Design-Co-Santa-Claus21. Wilmington Design Co – Santa Claus

Imagining the emotions you would like your brand to inspire in customers is invaluable as part of the logo design process. Wilmington Design Co in the eponymous North Carolina city secured their place on the nice list for the rest of time with this great logo for Father Christmas, himself. As part of a campaign to give Santa Claus his own brand and website, the logo is as whimsical as the project and makes prospective customers feel the joy of children again. The swirl on the end of Santa’s cap is a great design nugget.

Stylo-DoubleKnot20. Stylo Design Company – DoubleKnot

Allowing for the growth of your brand is a great idea when designing a logo. With an impressive branding portfolio, UK agency Stylo has crafted a wonderfully simple logo for their client that would work on a range of scales. The design combines bold typography with an iconic heart/double-knot figure (the open ends of which, cleverly allow for patterning).

Nido-MCC-Medical-Clinic19. Nido – MCC Medical Clinic

Designing for a medical clinic requires a tactful balance of attractiveness and modesty. Medical facilities want to communicate that they are technologically ahead of the curve, but also that they care as much as they did in the age of house calls. It is another industry whose design has often fallen back on clichés. Custom logo designer, Nido has created a piece that is as much traditional and human focused as it is refreshing and new.

Rikas-Sutkaitis-nowar18. Rokas Sutkaitis – notwar

Though popular, a great logo does not need to have a double image or cleverly disguised negative space. Lithuanian logo designer, Rokas Sutkaitis has done a great job illustrating the artistic identity of animation and motion designer, notwar. The image’s use of round edges and palette colors complement the simplicity of the design. Even without knowing anything about the brand, it is immediately apparent that notwar is creative and fun just by looking at the logo.

Wizemark-Moniker-Creative-Group17. Wizemark – Moniker Creative Group

When you’ve got the word “creative” in your name, the visual way in which you communicate your brand has to be up to par. Award-winning design firm, Wizemark has done just that for the Moniker Creative Group. The word moniker itself means name, so Wizemark applied the name and took a similar sounding word to create the double image of a crown with a butterfly housed in the negative space. The result is an icon that definitely lives up to the brand.

Tie-A-Tie-Althea-Press16. Tie A Tie Design – Althea Press

On their website, design firm Tie A Tie states that for their client (a publisher of books on health and wellness), they were looking to communicate the idea of well being. Appearing as an illuminated letter of an old manuscript, this logo magnificently ties together the idea of healthy organic lifestyle and book publishing.

Logorado-bigcolors15. Logorado – bigcolors

There are really two different types of designers, those who adapt their style to suit each individual client and those who become known for a single style and attract clients who desire that aesthetic for their brand. With a fully stocked portfolio of great colors and simple geometric designs, Freelance designer Logorado falls into the latter category. His design work for crowd-funding website bigcolors is the perfect example of great branding. The flat top to the logo is practical for a top page navigation bar, or stationery header.

Logomotive-Sew-Perfect14. Logomotive – SewPerfect

Often, getting people excited about day-to-day type business is the toughest part of trying to brand yourself. Logomotive, a Northern California based design firm, illustrates how effective a minimalist black and white logo can be for an industry that isn’t typically associated with cutting edge aesthetics. The flow of the image, illustration of the subject and clever inclusion of the initials of the business work together to create a smart and energetic logo that maintains an industry appropriate degree of sophistication.

Inkbot-Design-Helix13. Inkbot Design – Helix

When designing a logo, if you can further simplify the brand – do it. Stuart Crawford, also known as Inkbot, did with this brilliantly simple take on the word Helix that adds iconography to the X. All a viewer has to see is the letter x from this logo to know exactly what brand the letter is referencing.

Rokac-Pasta12. Rokac – Pasta

With the amount of competition and nearly universal appeal of the restaurant business, good branding is essential. Designer Rokac has created a restaurant logo that remixes the somewhat tired image of a spaghetti fork in a bright and exuberant way. The rotated frame and angular motif of the piece give the flat design a dynamism not commonly found in restaurant logo work.

Stelian-Vasile-Noise-Refinery11. Stelian Vasile – Noise Refinery

While not necessary, including double images or hidden images in your logo may work to make them more memorable. Design director, Stelian Vasile has accomplished an attractive double image with his piece for the Noise Refinery that speaks directly to the client’s brand. The positive space is occupied by three industrial looking towers, while the negative space forms the keys of a piano.

The-Logo-Smith-Illumina10. The Logo Smith – Illumina Wedding Photography

Put yourself in your customer’s place. For instance, people shopping for wedding elements are usually in a creative mood. Designing logos for a wedding photography company then, almost has the same weight on creativity as having the word “creative” in the brand. This logo by Graham Smith at the Logo Smith perfectly captures (no pun intended) the subtle lightheartedness of wedding photography. The diamond ring catch light is not only a witty element but helps to interpret the geometric image and break up the flatness of the circle.

Helvetic-Brands-MySwissForex09. Helvetic Brands – MySwissForex

Designing a logo for a professional service like foreign currency exchange can be difficult. You have to maintain a perfect balance of creativity and professionalism. Swiss design firm Helvetic Brands took advantage of the national flag’s simplicity by simply adding two lines to turn it into an upward line graph. The end product is a logo that has an astute and sophisticated appearance and communicates the promise of measurable progress.

Effendy-Design-Noah-Borer-Video-Productions08. Effendy Design – Noah Borer Video Productions

Just like triggers, using the brand name (or in this case, initials) in combination with an object associated with your industry can have powerful effects on recall for prospective customers. Muhammad Ali Effendy at Effendy Design modeled this example for a video production company that utilizes the image of a video recorder. The brand’s initials are built into the logo in the form of the camera and the film reel sitting on top. In addition, the way the lens opens up to the brand draws attention to the business’ name.

Wordsearch-One-World-Trade-Center07. Wordsearch – One World Trade Center

While the logo for One World Trade Center is great, the real triumph here is the branding of the building. World-famous design firm Wordsearch created what is probably the most striking logo on this list. The typography hits with giant, squared-off lettering. The inclusion of the antenna in the O not only represents the address of the building, but is also an allusion to it’s record breaking height. Every ingredient in this logo harkens back to the One World Trade Center brand.

Contrast-8-My-Thai06. Contrast 8 – My Thai

Though it is a tired adage, sometimes less is in fact more. LIthuanian designer Deividas Bielskis, for Contrast 8 firm, illustrates this with his exquisite graphic for My Thai restaurant. The design combines the familiar image of an elephant with the curls found in the aesthetics of the Thai language.

Sean-Heisler-Killed-Productions05. Sean Heisler – Killed Productions

A little bit of creativity can go a long way. Sean Heisler displays this in his work for film company Killed Productions. The lower-case letter “i,” analogous to a human body and head, is turned on it’s side like a dead body. Simple tricks like inverting letters or words can often allow you to see a great picture in the name of the brand that may aid you in designing a clever log.

Tie-A-Tie-picofcake04. Tie A Tie – picofcake

Tie A Tie gets another spot on the list with their awesome work for picofcake. Instead of hiding the double image within the logo, the agency has turned a colorful camera shutter on its side and, literally, decorated it like a cake. If your business’ specialty is found in a unique combination of elements, you can create a very clear, communicative logo by simply creating a picture that displays a literal representation of your figurative business model.

Lumo-foxystats03. Lumo – foxystats

By itself, a brand name like “foxystats” is intelligent and attention-grabbing. It would be pretty easy as a designer to fall back on a typography based spotlight of the brand name, and do little beyond that. James Waldner at Lumo in Winnipeg Canada, however, has created a fantastic double image that simultaneously shows a pie chart and a stylized fox with its tail curled around its body. What happens when you add a great logo to an already creative brand is massive appeal. Without even knowing what foxystats is, I already want to wear their t-shirt and stick their bumper sticker on the back of my car.

Logomotive-Ecopedia02. Logomotive – Ecopedia

I may be giving myself away as a fan of double images, but I can not overstate how well they work for long-term recall. Logomotive grabs a second spot on the list with their work for environmentally friendly news website Ecopedia. The colors play into the ecological theme and the double image of a tulip and person reading perfectly illustrate the connection the brand wants you to understand between awareness and action.

Tie-A-Tie-Mishka01. Tie A Tie – Mishka

Though there are a few tips above, when it really comes down to it sometimes a great logo breaks all of the rules. The logo that the Tie A Tie agency have designed for the unclaimed Mishka brand shows the creative element at work outside of double images, negative space, or hidden composition. The logo’s geometry makes it extremely scalable. The color palette is warm but not aggressive. Earning the number one spot, the Tie A Tie agency proves that while hints and tricks are helpful, sometimes the best way to create your brand’s visual identity is to just open the cage and let the bear out.